Guidelines for the Demise of a Public Servant

( 1996 Quentin Bristow)

[Some readers may take offence at this blunt caricature. Reader discretion advised! Similarities to the policies of any government, living or dead, are entirely coincidental]

Public Servants, because of their special status as custodians of the public good, cannot simply pass on when their times have come in the way that other citizens are free to do. There are many consequences that must be taken into consideration and many forms to be filled out and signatures to be obtained before a Public Servant can have his or her demise approved. There are three (3) fundamental policy directives which must be observed in the demising process:

  1. Neither the minister of the department concerned, or any elected member of Parliament shall suffer any embarrassment as a result of the demise.
  2. There must be no avoidable expense or loss of revenue to the government stemming directly or indirectly from any demise
  3. There shall be no inconvenience to the taxpaying public as a result of any Public Servant demising.


The following are examples in this category:

Financial Obligations

Public Servants should bear in mind that their demises are most cost effective to the taxpaying public, if they occur between the time they retire and the time that they would otherwise have received their first pension cheques. This ensures that their cumulative pension contributions will be available for paying off the national debt. Every effort should therefore be made to ensure that the demising occurs in this time window (normally only a few weeks).

Inconvenience to the Public

The demising of any Public Servant will not be approved if the function he or she is performing is considered vital (such as giving away money to businesses in the form of grants or loans) and cannot be continued immediately and without any noticeable delays. Under the guidelines there are severe penalties for unapproved demising. These include being put on life support systems but do not include capital punishment, as this would of course aid and abet the unauthorised activity contemplated by the Public Servant.

Policy Implementation

Each department will convene a steering committee of private sector management consultants to oversee the smooth implementation of the new guidelines. Consultants must be from each of the national regions and shall be awarded contracts via a rigorous bidding process. Care should be taken to ensure that invisible majorities are not particularly represented. This selection process may take some time and may be quite expensive, but that should not be cause for concern, because this important administrative initiative opens up the possibility of restoring the healthy regulatory growth which has been under such threat in recent years and it is important to get it right.

Financing and Resources.

Departments will be required to provide the necessary human and financial resources for implementation of this initiative from their existing budgets. This will present a challenge to managers in many departments, since it is essential that no other similarly important administrative operations be jeopardised. There will be no problem however for those departments which (despite all recent events) continue to have some residual science and technology programs. These are classified as zero priority and can of course be reduced or terminated as necessary to provide the required resources.